Five prequalified companies priced the two packages on the programme, which involves the replacement of existing underground crude oil and gas flowlines in the south and southeast and the upgrade and rehabilitation of 17 gathering centres (GCs) and three gas booster stations (BS).

Petrofac is the low bidder at KD 199 million ($686 million) for the first package covering GCs 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 21 and 23 and BS 140 and 150. On price, SK is ranked first at KD 357 million ($1,231 million) for the second, larger package, covering GCs 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 19 and 20 and BS 170. Although bids were considered to be competitively priced, it is understood that the submitted offers for both packages are well above budget.

The packages are part of a wider KOC programme to upgrade and modernise its aging oil and gas field infrastructure as it seeks to increase oil production, which is hovering at just under 2.5 million barrels a day. The scheme is also aimed at improving safety following an explosion at the Rawdhatain oil field in early 2002 (MEED 5:11:04; 22:10:04).